President Joe Biden
President Joe BidenREUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

US President Joe Biden on Sunday pushed for the ceasefire in Gaza and hostage release deal that he recently outlined, saying in a statement on the occasion of Eid al-Adha that it is the best solution to bring the war in Gaza to an end.

“This year, Eid al-Adha comes at a difficult time for many Muslims around the world. In Gaza, innocent civilians are suffering the horrors of the war between Hamas and Israel. Too many innocent people have been killed, including thousands of children. Families have fled their homes and seen their communities destroyed. Their pain is immense,” said Biden in the statement.

“My Administration is doing everything we can to bring an end to the war, free all hostages, deliver humanitarian relief, and work toward a future two-state solution, which I continue to believe is the only way to achieve a lasting peace for Palestinians and Israelis. And I strongly believe that the three-phase ceasefire proposal Israel has made to Hamas and that the UN Security Council has endorsed is the best way to end the violence in Gaza and ultimately end the war,” he added.

Hamas gave its official response to the proposal this past Tuesday. A senior Israeli official said Israel had received Hamas’ response and added that the terrorist organization rejected Biden’s proposal.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Saturday that mediators for Qatar and Egypt plan to engage Hamas soon to see if there is a way to push ahead with the proposal.

He also told reporters that US officials have taken a close look at Hamas' response.

"We think some of the edits are not unexpected and can be managed. Some of them are inconsistent both with what President Biden laid out and what the UN Security Council endorsed. And we are having to deal with that reality," said Sullivan.

According to the proposal outlined by Biden, the first phase of the three-phase process would last for six weeks and would include a full and complete ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza, and the release of a number of hostages, including women, the elderly, and the wounded, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian Arab prisoners.

Phase two would see the release of all remaining living hostages, while phase three would encompass "a major reconstruction plan for Gaza," said the President, as well as the repatriation of the remains of deceased hostages to their families.